Live Review: Nicki Minaj — Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 07:23:10
Last night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Nicki Minaj made history.
Midway through her triumphant set, she announced, "This is my first headlining show in L.A. ever, so I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because you could be anywhere in the world tonight, but you're here with me".
Why would anybody want to be anywhere else?
Minaj puts on the best show in pop and hip hop right now. Her live set is packed with the emotion, drama, and humor of big budget film—set to an incredible soundtrack, of course. After the Pink Friday curtain dropped, she stood atop steps clad in a robe with her dancers in the same garb. The reigning rap diva confidently tour through "Roman's Revenge" as flames burned in the screens behind the stairs. It was a fiery opening to the incendiary set to follow.
On stage, she remained unstoppable, rapid-firing the verses to "Did It On'em" and "I Am Your Leader". 2 Chainz slid onto the stage as the screens brandished graffiti for the year's catchiest street anthem "Beez in the Trap". He matched Minaj's intensity with infectious swagger of his own, trading lines with raw passion and power.
Elsewhere in the set, Minaj elegantly carried the hooks to "Moment 4 Life" and "Right By My Side" continuing to move with uncontainable energy. Before "Starships" skyrocketed to impressive heights, she jested that it was a "brand new song". Getting bodies moving better than any EDM DJ out there, she delivered a sexy and sweaty "Pound the Alarm" with resounding bombast. In between, she and her dancers threw t-shirts into the crowd, and she even wielded a giant smoke gun which she blasted into the air.
She took a trip back to the beginning of her career, during the staggering "mixtape" portion of her set. With a smile, she laughed, "That's where a lot of these bitches got their swag from".
She's not kidding. She leads the pack as far as modern hip hop goes, and there's never been a female rapper as talented as she is, blending pure skill and charismatic showmanship. As a real treat, she even dropped in that propulsive verse she did on "My Chick Bad" with Ludacris. Towards the end of the set, all kinds of surprises happened. Sean Kingston dropped by for a superfly rendition of "Letting Go (Dutty Love" with Minaj, while YMCMB teammate Tyga joined Minaj for mind-blowing collaborations on "Roger That", "Faded", and "Make It Nasty". They practically lit up the sky with their collective mic fireworks.
Minaj invited about 20 fans on stage during "Bedrock", talking to and hugging all of them. Then, everything came to a booming climax on "Super Bass", and Minaj walked off the stage victoriously.
She's only going to continue to make history though, and the show hints at even bigger things to come. That's the mark of a legend last time we checked.
Were you there?
See our exclusive interview with Nicki Minaj here!